“Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself. Colleges Want a Person Not a Paper.”
The college admissions process is officially underway for the high school class of 2018, with the Common Application now open and the new school year just around the corner. Applying to college can be a stressful and intimidating process, but there are simple steps that rising high school seniors can take to make the most of their admissions journey.
The team of expert counselors at IvyWise is made up former deans and directors of admission at some of the country’s most selective universities, so they know what admissions officers look for and what it takes to gain admission to your top-choice colleges. While many students try to look for “tips” or “tricks” that will tip the admissions scales in their favor, often the best advice is the most simple.
Here are three pieces of advice for the college class of 2022 from our team of expert college admission counselors – and some students who have worked with us before!
Trying to fit yourself into a mold that you think a college wants in an applicant is setting yourself up for a difficult admissions journey. At the end of the day, admissions officers are people, and they want to read about real students – not packaged applicants that hard to distinguish from one another. This is why it’s important to identify and develop your interests early, and clearly articulate those interests and how they relate to your college goals in your applications.
This is also where fit is important. If you’re a good fit for a college and a college is a good fit for you, you need to be yourself and show who you are in your applications. Applying to best fit colleges is key to admissions success, and being genuine in your applications will only help you have the best chance of admission to those best fit colleges.
There’s A LOT to keep up with when applying to college. Not only do you need to keep up with applications, essays, and other requirements, but also extracurricular activities, homework, additional testing if necessary, and more. Staying organized senior year is key to alleviating some of the college application stress and ensuring you have a fun and productive senior year. Keep calendars updated and use planners or apps to keep track of exams, competitions, testing dates, and more.
Remember: College is What You Make It
At the end of the day, your admissions journey is yours and yours alone. While it’s important to aim high, don’t let yourself be distracted by name brands or rankings when applying to college. Focus on you and what makes you happy. There isn’t just one school where you can have a fulfilling college experience. In fact, there are probably dozens of colleges out there where you could be successful and happy. As long as you apply to a range of best-fit colleges, you will get in somewhere where you will get a great education. College is what you make it – not the other way around.
We also caught up with one of our pro bono students, Vivian, to get her take on the college admissions process this year and what students need to keep in mind as they apply to college this fall. Read her Q&A below.
Tell us a little about your background and interests.
I come from an Asian family who immigrated to America with nothing. I believe that education will allow me the ability to grow as a person and as an individual who can help support my family.
What are your college/career goals?
My goal is to pursue a career in data science.
What have you found most challenging about applying to college?
The most challenging is writing essays. For me, words do not come easily due to the fact English is my second language.
What have you enjoyed the most about applying to college?
The most enjoyable part about applying to college is learning about a multitude of available programs at each university and learning that I should look into colleges on a deeper level.
What made you want to work with IvyWise?
As a duel enrolled community college student, I wanted to get help from knowledgeable sources that could help me feel more confident as an applicant.
How has your IvyWise counselor help you navigate the process so far?
She has helped me with my college search, ironed out my ideas, and helped me feel more confident rather than filled with anxiety about my college application.
What advice has been most valuable so far?
Advice that has been most valuable so far is be honest and be yourself because college admission representatives are people, too.
How have you grown/changed since you started planning for college?
I learned that each college is different, and that you need to research and find out if you really fit there. At first, I was all about the name brand of a college, but I realized that I did not want to be in a classroom with over 100 students. I revaluated my whole college list.
What advice would you give to students preparing for college?
The advice I would give would be to not be afraid to be yourself. Colleges want a person not a paper.
For more information on our services for college bound seniors, contact us today!